Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland of India
Khajjiar, also known as India’s Switzerland, is a hill station in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh. The hill station is picturesquely set in the midst of magnificent ‘Deodar’ forests. A small plateau in its green turf of dense Pine and Deodar forests along its fringes adds to the pastoral scenery. This offbeat place in India is known to have the rarest combination of three eco systems. The lakes, the green pastures and the forests come together to make you spell-bound. Hence, it is also popularly called the Mini Switzerland of India.
This region also attracts adventure seekers and has a lot of options in adventure sports like paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, trekking etc. Khajjiar is a must visit place for everyone coming to Dalhousie and its nearby regions. However, the way to Khajjiar can be closed sometimes during winters because of heavy snowfall.
Although It has been commercialized over the past few years (Thanks to a number of Bollywood Movies shot here) and over-exploited as a tourist destination.
Places to Visit in Khajjiar:
(1) Khajji Nag Temple
Khajji Nag Temple was built way back in 12 Century AD. This temple is located near the lake and is also believed to be one of the holiest temples in Himachal Pradesh.
(2) Khajjiar Lake and Ground
This place has been a part of lot of Bollywood Movies like “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”. The lake has been a major tourist spot because of the grasses and weeds that have grown on it which looks like a floating island.
(3) Mount Kailash View Point
If you stand on the Khajjiar Ground, you will be able to see glimpses of Mount Kailash.
(4) Khajjiar Villages
Khajjiar is also popular for its beautiful & small Villages like Rota, Ladi which are situated near the slopes.These small villages are quite popular in this area for Apple Orchards.
(5) Panch Pandav Tree
The Panch Pandav Tree is a very popular tree located in the ground of Khajjiar and famous for its shoots. This tree is located near a rest house while moving towards Khajjiar School. There are a total of 6 shoots coming out of the tree. However, the shoots and the main root of the tree are the same. Local people of Khajjiar say that the five shoots of the this tree stands for the Five Pandavas and the last one stands for Draupadi.
(6) Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
This lovely sanctuary is located in between Dalhousie-Khajjiar and has species like deer, serow, jackal, leopard, black bear, wild cats, Himalayan black marten and others. While you are in the Sanctuary you would also be able to see many endangered species of animals and birds.
(7) Golden Devi Temple
Situated on the edge of Khajjiar Lake, the Golden temple is a major attraction due to the golden dome of the temple. Nearby there is a 9 hole golf course.
How to reach Khajjiar:
Khajjiar is located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh at a distance of 570 km from Delhi and 24 km from Dalhousie. Nearest airport is Gaggal Airport Dharamshala, Kangra which is located 120 kms from Khajjiar. It takes around 3.5 hours to reach Khajjiar from this Airport.
Best Road route from Delhi to Khajjiar:
Delhi – Sonipat – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ludhiana – Jalandhar – Pathankot – Dalhousie – Khajjiar
Pathankot serves as the nearest railway station to here, situated at 120 Km distance, after which taxi could be taken.
Activities / Things to do in Khajjiar:
Paragliding, Horse riding, Zorbing, Photo shoot.
Where to stay in Khajjiar:
3 Best options with best views are Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Hotel facing the Khajjiar Lake, Forest Guest House and PWD Guest House. The other private resorts are little far from the main lake.
The next best option is to stay in Dalhousie which has far more hotels & resorts. From there you can do a day tour to Khajjiar.
Best Time to visit Khajjiar:
You can visit Khajjiar anytime round the year; but the best time to visit Khajjiar is summers (From March till October). The winters, especially January and February, can be quite chilly and it receives snowfall occasionally. The road to Khajjiar might be a little unpredictable during these two months and a trip could be spoiled if there is heavy snowfall.